When you visit the dentist every six months, it’s not just for a cleaning and examination; it’s also a chance for you to learn about taking better care of your mouth, get yourself up to date with advancements in dental care, and ask about potential problems with your oral health. Here are 4 questions to ask your dentist or oral hygienist during your next appointment.
1. What Can I Do Better?
When it comes to oral hygiene, there’s almost always room for improvement. Even if you don’t have any problems with cavities or gum disease, you can still ask your dentist or hygienist about new ways of cleaning. For example, they could suggest a new product you could try, or they might be able to teach you brushing techniques that could help you reach the spots you’re having trouble with. Make sure you’re always giving your smile the best treatment available.
2. Is My Medical Information Up to Date?
A lot can change in the six months between your appointments. You might be taking some new medication that your dentist doesn’t know about, or your general doctor might have diagnosed you with a new condition. Take the time during your checkups to confirm that your chart is up to date and is as accurate as possible. It’s a good idea to write down any changes before you go to your appointment so that it can be checked against your dentist’s records.
3. Why Are My Gums Bleeding?
If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, it could be a symptom of gingivitis that will eventually develop into severe gum disease. Other abnormalities like bumps or sores in your mouth might mean you have an infection – or even a life-threatening issue like oral cancer. Let your dentist and hygienist know about anything unusual that you’ve noticed so that you can be sure that they’ll address it during your checkup. They might be able to find a problem that you wouldn’t be able to spot on your own.
4. Is There Anything I Need to Tell My Doctor?
Your oral health and overall health are connected, and an issue with one could affect the other. For example, the bacteria in gum disease could spread to other parts of your body; this can be particularly dangerous if you already have diabetes or another condition that compromises your immune system. Ask your dentist if there’s any developments in your mouth that your doctor should know about; this will help ensure your health care providers are all working with the same information.
These are just some general questions to think about. If you have more specific oral health concerns, be sure to bring them up at your next appointment. The important thing is to remember that part of your dentist’s job is to educate you on oral health so that you can make good decisions; if there’s something you’re not sure about, it’s up to you to take the first step!
About the Author
Dr. St. Clair has been practicing in Newburyport since 2006. He makes it his goal to help his patients understand their dental health and provide them with a wide range of dental services to fulfil their specific smile needs. If you have a question about your oral health, or if it’s been more than six months since your last dental checkup, you can schedule an appointment at his Newburyport practice, Dental Partners of Newburyport, by visiting his website or calling (978) 465-5358.